Former Kenzo Creative Director Humberto Leon Opens Restaurant in Los Angeles With His Mom
Late last year, in the middle of Los Angeles' pandemic lockdown, Humberto Leon, a veteran of the fashion and creative industries—Leon co-founded the seminal retail-turned-label Opening Ceremony with business partner Carol Lim and the duo later helmed the legendary Japanese fashion house Kenzo—opened Chifa, a Chinese-Peruvian restaurant in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, with his family. So far, the customer reviews have been excellent—and while dining-in at restaurants in Los Angeles is still verboten, Chifa's Instagram feed provides a sneak peek at the characteristically bold, fearless, vibrant, art-driven aesthetic that's become a hallmark of Leon's body of work.
Take a look inside and see how Leon was inspired by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai and designer Syd Mead to create a progressive, modernist space. "I feel Wong Kar-wai was always really good about balancing the traditional and the modern; [making] movies that are both futuristic but also [about] history," Leon told the Los Angeles Times. "Syd Mead lived in Pasadena next to my mom—I got a chance to work with him, and I’ve been to his house—he was the ultimate futurist. He did Blade Runner, he did Tron, he drew cars for the future that are still too futuristic for today. I like that kind of optimism, that way of looking at life."
"Si Yao Chicken is @popowendy delicacy I grew up having," Leon wrote on his Instagram, with a shout-out to his mom, Wendy. "I never appreciated her specifics of only using a free range 'yellow feather' chicken, until she explained the tenderness of the meat and that it’s a delicacy most Chinese restaurant don’t use. Poached perfectly in her aged soy sauce. Now, it’s available to all. Served with Garlic Rice!!!"
Chifa also houses a selection of sculptures by Charlie Mai for sale. And the restaurant also offers its own merch.
Chifa, 4374 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles, +1-323-561-3084